DAGGETT • Residents, property owners and off-highway vehicle enthusiasts discussed two proposed Southern California Edison transmission line projects in the High Desert area on Thursday evening at the Daggett Community Center.

The two transmission projects are unrelated and serve different purposes, according to SCE officials. While a transmission project that would connect Pisgah — an area 40 miles east of Newberry Springs — and Hesperia was brought before the public earlier this year, a project that would interconnect Daggett, Lucerne Valley and Hesperia was brought to the public for the first time during meetings throughout the High Desert this week.

Both projects are still in the licensing phase and won't begin construction until 2014 or 2015. Construction of each is expected to take three years.

South of Kramer Transmission Project

The South of Kramer project is designed to bring power generated north of Kramer Junction to High Desert residents. A number of new renewable energy projects north of Kramer Junction are scheduled to come online over the next few years and Edison officials said Thursday that there currently isn't enough capacity in its system for the projects to generate their full potential.

The project would involve 55 to 70 miles of new transmission lines, a new substation east of Apple Valley and upgraded substations at Coolwater substation in Daggett, Lugo substation in Hesperia and upgrades at the future Jasper substation in Lucerne Valley.

Edison officials are currently looking at the different routes that can be used for the project, with many following current roads to avoid disturbing the land. Most of the residents, property owners and off-roaders said that the best route would be a direct route south of Daggett to Lucerne Valley, and then southwest to Hesperia. The route would follow an existing county road.

Residents also had concerns about keeping the high-voltage lines away from homes and said upgrading existing lines would cause less of a problem than building new ones.

Huntington Beach resident Michael Grant, who owns property near some of the proposed routes and is an off-road enthusiast, said he would prefer a route that avoided off-road racing areas because of safety concerns.

Edison plans to submit an application to state and federal regulatory agencies in 2013.

Lugo-Pisgah Transmission Project

The other proposed project discussed by Edison is the Lugo-Pisgah project, which would connect Pisgah — an area 40 miles east of Newberry Springs near the proposed Calico solar project — and Hesperia. The project would help bring the power from future renewable energy projects  in the area to Southern California residents.

The project would involve 60 to 70 miles of new or upgraded transmission lines as well as a new substation in Pisgah.

Most of the transmission lines would involve replacing 220 kilovolt lines with 500 kilovolt lines in an existing right-of-way, but there are four different routes being discussed that would connect Lucerne Valley to Hesperia. There are also two different sites being discussed for the substation location in Pisgah — one north of Interstate 15 and one south of the interstate.

Edison is currently conducting environmental studies this month and plans to submit applications to state and federal regulatory agencies sometime in the next two years.

For more information on both projects, contact Nancy Jackson at (760) 951-3160 or Nancy.Jackson@sce.com. The websites for each project are www.sce.com/southofkramer or www.sce.com/lugopisgah.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com